'Wild Men of the Kalahari' (1930) 30m, prod. C. Ernest Cadle. In one of the earliest "talking pictures" shot in South-West Africa (now Namibia), expedition leader and lecturer Dr. C. Ernest Cadle of the Cameron-Cadle expedition describes the Kung Bushmen as "among the most treacherous creatures on earth." He then "baited them as we would an animal" to gather them for camera shots, and noted their eating habits ("he doesn't chew, but simply swallows like a dog"). The cinematographer was Paul Hoefler.
Geoff Alexander of the Academic Film Archive of North America writes: We have what we believe to be the only print of this film in existence. Several months after we first acquired and showed this film, we were approached by a group of people who were involved in helping Kung people to return to their ancestral lands, which had been taken from them by the Namibian government. The reasoning behind the relocation was that the government wished to establish Etosha National Park, and remove indigenous people from its boundaries. The legal reason given was that the Kung had no proof that their ancestors had ever lived within the park's boundaries. Because this film shows the Kung within the areas of the park, there is some value in showing it to present-day Kung, who may recognize ancestors in the film. If they do, a legal case might be made for reparations. We made a video copy of the film, brought it to Namibia, and delivered it to a Kung representative, who took it to nomadic bushmen camps in the vicinity. This project is still underway, and, understandably, remains somewhat secretive. Even if the Kung are successful, we may never know how great or little a part this film played in their achievement.
RightsPublic Domain. For access to commercial-grade print, contact Geoff Alexander, firstname.lastname@example.org